Kurt Ritter, former president and CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, has received the Lifetime Award from Germany’s Travel Industry Club. “Kurt Ritter is an internationally-acclaimed hotelier, and was the driving force behind Rezidor’s success,” says Fritz Pütz, vice president of Travel Industry Club. “He has led the company for more than two decades, which is a unique achievement. His charismatic, engaged and responsible style of leadership has written history.”
Swiss-born Kurt was Rezidor’s president and CEO between 1989 and 2012, making him one of the longest-serving CEOs of the hospitality industry. Under his leadership, Rezidor grew from a small regional group to a global player – featuring four clearly-defined brands, comprising more than 430 hotels with 95,000 rooms in 70 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
In January of last year, Kurt co-launched the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the 10 largest hotel groups worldwide. He has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Corporate Hotelier of the World 2002, International Hotel Investment Forum Lifetime Achievement Award, and MKG Hospitality Lifetime Achievement Award. Kurt holds two honorary doctorates and was introduced to the legendary British Travel Hall of Fame last year.
Kurt comments: “I feel honoured to receive the Lifetime Award of Travel Industry Club, and want to thank Rezidor’s outstanding team that has so strongly supported me over all these years. It is the team that makes Rezidor – and that made me the man and leader I am.”
Kurt is set to play a role in Rezidor during 2013 as a senior strategic adviser to Carlson’s president and CEO, Trudy Rautio.